It’s about this time of year when we pull out our secret stashes of Frog Legs and get to fryin’. It makes all our friends envious and of course they taste like fresh water chicken.Frogging in the Ozarks is one of our families favorite things to do on a hot summer night. You can hear those big bullfrogs croaking a half mile away in the hollows down on the James River. There are a ton of different ways to catch these tasty frogs. One method that has been used for more than a century and our preferred method is gigging. Gig’s come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, some forged by craftsmen here in the Ozarks and have become highly collectible if you ask auctioneer Larry Foster of Foster Auction Service they can bring a handsome sum of money, especially those made right here in the James River area. You have to remember back in the early part of the last century up until 19 70 the gigging was done to put food on the table, whether it was frogs or suckers. The equipment used was built to last, failure meant nothing on the table for the family. I won’t get into the detailed information or history as it has been covered.
Here’s a recipe for fried bullfrog.
1 cup flour
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs season salt
1 tbs lemon pepper salt
1 cup milk
2 quarts peanut oil
Thaw a possession limit of frog legs (16 pair) drain and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients into a large plastic bowl with lid. Dip legs into milk and egg mixture then drop into bowl with dry ingredients. Cover bowl and shake your legs! Drop in hot oil and cook until golden brown.
The experience and excitement of hunting frogs is topped only by the satisfaction of eating your harvest, and nothing draws kinfolk out of the woodwork like frogs in hot fat. All that usually remains after a frog fry is a little pile of bones picked clean as cotton swabs. This summer, hunt some frogs with your friends and family, make some lasting memories and enjoy a taste of Missouri’s bountiful resources.
(Recipe Provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation)